What is cable broadband?
Cable broadband is a high-speed alternative to fibre broadband
, and while they are similar in some ways there are a few key differences. The main provider of cable internet in the UK is Virgin Media
, although a few smaller providers offer it too, including Hyperoptic
. If you use one of these broadband providers, the majority of your itnernet connection is still going to be using a fibre optic cable. The main difference is the last mile of your connection, from the roadside cabinet to the broadband router in your home, is going to be made up of coaxial cable opposed to the traditional ADSL
copper phone lines. The coaxial cable can carry data quicker than its copper cable counterpart as it encounters less loss over distances.
So what’s faster, cable or fibre?
Generally, both fibre and cable will be able to provide ample internet speed for a normal household. Cable will typically just edge out standard fibre optic broadband due to the lack of lost speed over the final stretch of wire. Different situations will mean you can get different speeds with the two options though, so it’s always worth checking things like what building you live in or how far away you live from your closest exchange to get an accurate measurement.
Why choose cable broadband?
When looking for a broadband deal
, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of getting cable broadband over another type of broadband package:
- A higher download speed will suit large households, streamers, gamers, and heavy users.
- Higher upload speeds suitable for live streamers and conference calling.
- More reliable broadband connection as copper phone lines are bypassed.
- Usually more expensive than other types of internet connection, especially ADSL broadband packages.
- Not yet widely available across the whole country.
- Installation of cables could cost you time and money.
How to switch to cable broadband
Firstly, enter your postcode into our comparison tool to see which companies operate in your area. You will then want to identify which ones will offer the broadband service that you are looking for. To make this easy, there will be lists comparing price as well as the maximum available broadband speed that you can get out of a package. Most companies will also offer bundle packages, which may include broadband, phone, and TV
, as well so make sure you have a browse to see which one suits your needs.
Last reviewed: 07 June 2021
Next review: 07 July 2021